Trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley combined to win the first two $25,000 eliminations for the $500,000 Max Hempt Pace for sophomore colts with All Bets Off and At Press Time on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
All Bets Off secured the pocket while Doo Wop Hanover set wild fractions of :25.2, :53.1, and 1:20.3, then used the passing lane to notch the three-quarter length victory late over Cammikey to his left and Sometimes Said to his right in a career-best 1:48.3. The son of Bettor's Delight is owned by Burke Racing, Baldachino, Panhellenic Stable Corporation and Shelswell.
All Bets Off was favored; in contrast, At Press Time, a son of Western Terror owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, was an 8-1 proposition, but no less impressive as he rallied to overhaul Limelight Beach in 1:48.2, a season's mark and personal best, with Allstar Partner getting third and a spot in the Hempt final as Always B Miki, third under the wire, was disqualified for causing interference at the head of the stretch.
In the third Hempt elim, heavy favorite McWicked was stung early by Bushwhacker, but the son of McArdle had mcwicked reserves of energy, winning easily in 1:48, missing the divisional world record of Bolt The Duer and Sunshine Beach by a mere tick and setting a season's record.
Driver David Miller moved the Casie Coleman trainee from third to the lead after the :26.1, but early frontrunner Bushwhacker forced McWicked to spend the second quarter on the outside before ceding the inside in 53. McWicked went on to the three-quarter mark in 1:21, and was coasting late to win by 5 ¾ lengths, with Bushwhacker holding for second over Stevensville behind McWicked, winning for the SSG Stables of New York. (PHHA/Mohegan Sun at Pocono)